Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier: Camera Ready

A box of negatives purchased at  auction began an odyssey that uncovered the work of the an unknown street photographer. One box led to another. Soon, there were 100,000 negatives and a name.

Vivian Maier was an amateur street photographer in Chicago in the second half of the 20th century,  discovered in the early 21st century by a young historian, John Maloof, who got more than he bargained for.

The resulting documentary chronicles his search for the person behind the camera and then for information about this mysterious woman, who never processed her work. Not everything he learned about Maier, who died in 2009, is pretty. In fact, the film left the Movie Slut wondering what was considered too unpalatable to bring to the multiplex.

Still, her photos are arresting and the documentary provides a fascinating look at a person who lived on the fringes of society and seemed to truly connect with others only through the lens of her camera.

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